Comedy and Catharsis in a Time of Crisis: A CANVAS Conversation

Thursday, September 10, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

This is the second program in the CANVAS Conversations series, "Why We Invest in Our Creative Community.”

Jews have always relied on humor to endure difficult times—and this is an especially difficult time. But many of the tools the best performers and producers rely on—the theater, the comedy club, a live audience—are inaccessible or compromised in quarantine conditions. For this conversation, CANVAS has invited four masters of the craft to share how they are lifting spirits and finding new ways to work in a time of crisis. 

How does the creative community support and elevate the broader Jewish community? How can the philanthropic community better support their work to make us laugh, perceive ourselves in a new light, and distract us from the hardships we face together? Lou Cove, founder of CANVAS and moderator for this discussion explores these and other questions with our guests. (To submit your own questions for our performers, please email [email protected]; we will get to as many as we can during the program.)  


Alex Edelman is a comedian, writer, and performer. His most recent creation was Saturday Night Seder, an all-star, musical, streaming Passover Seder to benefit the CDC Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund, which has raised more than $3 million since its premiere in April.

Tiffany Woolf has over 25 years of PR experience in arts & entertainment, film, and public interest communications, She was on the Dalai Lama’s PR team (yes, even the world's most enlightened guru needs some promotion from time to time). In 2018, Tiffany partnered with Reboot to launch Silver Screen Studios, a digital platform of shows, featuring interviews with the legends we love from Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, Marion Ross & Larry King to everyday older role models. Tiffany loves to delight in the absurd, loves old people, a good story or joke, kind people and lobster rolls (kosher of course).

Steve Bodow is an American television writer and producer. Most recently he was Executive Producer and showrunner of Netflix's Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. From 2015 to March 2019 he was executive producer of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, following his 13 years at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as an executive producer, head writer and staff writer. He was also consulting producer for The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, after serving as EP on the hour-long Jordan Klepper Solves Guns special. Steve is a founding member and a past artistic director of the New York theater group Elevator Repair Service, best known for Gatz, its full-text adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Jena Friedman is an American stand up comedian, writer and filmmaker. She was a field producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and has written for Late Show with David Letterman. She developed the television project Soft Focus with Jena Friedman for Adult Swim (where she interviewed John McAfee), the first installment of which premiered in February 2018. Jena has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Nat Geo Explorer, MSNBC and BBC Two. She has been a contributing writer to The New Yorker. Her critically acclaimed Edinburgh show Miscarriage of Justice premiered in 2019.

CANVAS is proud to support the work of these artists through its philanthropic investments in Reboot, and in the broader Jewish creative community. Join for a JFN webinar where you’ll laugh until you cry, and immediately feel like you’re home.


CANVAS is a Jewish Funders Network-powered funding collaborative that seeks to encourage, support and promote a 21st-century Jewish cultural renaissance. CANVAS seeks to elevate the ecosystem of Jewish arts & culture in North America through strategic and coordinated giving, education, and cross-sector exposure (between funders and artists, Jewish creatives and secular distribution networks/media, and more). Founding partners of CANVAS include The Righteous Persons Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation, and the Peleh Fund.

Watch "Literature in a Time of Crisis: A CANVAS Conversation with Nathan Englander, Marra Gad and Rachel Kadish"
the first installment in the CANVAS Conversations series.


JFN Members: sign in here, then refresh this page to RSVP.

JFN events are open to JFN members and other funders who are eligible for JFN membership.

Non-members: click here to request to RSVP for this event.

Non-members in Israel should email [email protected].

Code of conduct for all JFN events